Alster Crowly, what's true and what's hype?

Other than calling himself “Citzen 666” and claiming to be the “most evil man alive” i realy don’t know anything other than he researched and the ocult.

But what exactly was it that he did?

in short just type up everything you know about him

Why don’t you put his name in Google and see what comes up? Be sure you spell it correctly. It’s Aleister Crowley.

He translated the Tao te Ching, and wrote a bunch of stuff about the occult. People feared him. His ideas were a major influence on LaVey’s satanism. Ozzy wrote a song about him, and put it on Blizzard of Ozz. No one seems to be sure how his name is spelled.

While no one may be sure how his name is spelled, getting 58,000 hits on Google by using “Aleister Crowley” might give you more info, rather than the zero hits you get on “Alster Crowly.”

OK. Since you brought it up. WHO feared him?

YES, re. the spelling of “Aleister Crowley” and re. Googling, I suppose you could also try"The Great Beast" which he liked to call himself, I believe.

He was also a member, and possibly a founding member of the Golden Dawn.

ANd I am trying to recall who is was (the HIgh Priestess ofo a group in the south of England) who called him a "viciously disposed evil monster. Well, not the same as fearing him, but it is an opinion!

I am sorry none of this is a GQ worthy response - my connection is being terrible, so all I can do is throw out hints that might help in searching.

He lived for a time in Boleskin HOuse in Scotland, which ended up with a bit of a creepy reputation, but eventually burned down.

Photo of Boleskine House.

People people.

I’ll outline a slightly different perspective that isn’t as biased, but don’t fret, I’ll conclude condemning him. :slight_smile:

Crowley practiced pagan Qabalistic “magick” from the Order of the Golden Dawn (a fun bunch of guys), which he later parted from (mainly because he declared himself their leader). Like all self-respecting nuts, he was raised in a decent Christian household (his father died when he was 11), eventually being stifled, rebelling, and… well, you can guess the story. His mother called him “the beast,” and he took to the name like a fish to water. There follow lovely stories about him torturing a cat to death to see if it had nine lives, having sex with a maid on his mother’s bed, and being kicked out of several schools for picking up STDs from hookers. He married and later abandoned his (now maddened and alcoholic) wife and child in Vietnam. He repeated the pattern several times, getting lovers involved in the occult, hooking them on drugs, using them until they went mad, and then abandoning them and any children, blaming them the whole way. During WWI, he was rejected from his national (British) army, so he started spreading German propaganda.

He is actually regarded as a fine, misunderstood poet in some circles. Go figure. He was also regarded as hateful of women and being a sometimes being a homosexual. For that, he hated “witchcraft” (who returned the favor) but considered himself a practitioner of “white magic.” He can pretty much be described as on the “naughty” end of paganism.

In 1904 he released a lovely novel called Liber Legis (Book of the Law), where he proclaimed his manifesto: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, Love under Will.” And proceeded to enter into preaching the Aeon of Horus, a new age of youth, and began a’preaching. This was in the 1900s. You guess how willing people were to listen to him. Mussolini threw him out of Italy. The press called him the “wickedest man in the world” and proceeded to print both real and fictional facts about him (for scope, one of the real ones was one of his followers dying after drinking the blood of a cat).

He responded by law. He sued on claims of libel - him practicing black magic. Being properly democratic, the judge was shocked by his lifestyle and he lost. He went into decline, supported by his devotees, and proceeded to piss everyone off again with his death, when his pagan hymns were used in the Christian crematorium chapel.

Most of his disciples went on to lead broken lives, dying mysteriously, with high rates of suicide, alcoholism, and mental breakdown. We would generally link him to any of a number of cult groups active today more than anything else.

For the record, “Satanic” is a misunderstanding of terms and religion. Evil, eh, maybe, maybe not. About the only charges you can make on him is corrupting youth, drug abuse, etc. If he had reached apex in America in the '60s, he would probably be in a much different light (much akin to Timothy Leary). He is vastly outclassed by certain serial killers of modern times, by about half of Germany between 1937 and 1945, and by billions of other people throughout history. I’d label him as a press punching bag.

I think the most accurate definition of him is a spoiled, rebellious brat, with severe psychological problems and issues with women stemming from his oppressive mother and lack of a father figure. He rebelled against his church when young, doing anything he could that would be opposite of them. He rebelled against his lovers when they went mad, blaming them for it and abandoning his children. He blamed Britain during WWI, and went to the German side. He was a petty man without a heart, entirely wrapped up in his own ego.

Ironically (or fittingly), he died a penniless, mentally unstable heroin addict questioning his own practices. His legacy is inspiring and laying the groundwork for modern “satanism,” largely form people with backgrounds similar to his own (see opinion in paragraph above) and who get wrapped up in all the pretty names and imagery.

He was a spoiled wanker* who wanted attention.

*Translation for merkins - pretentious, self-indulgent goose

I don’t know about about the dear chap, but I rather had the impression that he quite liked being a “press punching bag.” I bet these days he’d emply Max Clifford as a publicist. :slight_smile:

Well, one of his more notorious nature was his publicity, whereas most orders like his try to stay underground.

I think the “spoled wanker,” as antechinus puts it, is the most fitting description.